It's a management cliché that what gets measured, gets done. Or: What gets measured, gets managed.
Measuring financial performance is relatively straightforward and has always been at the core of business management. These days, however, businesses are increasingly measuring environmental, social and governance aspects of their activities.
Even within the sustainability area, some factors are easier to measure than others. Finding out how much a factory pollutes may require technical expertise, but it will usually be possible to come up with a reliable answer.
It's more complicated when moving onto other parts of sustainability, particularly those involving employees. How good is our culture? Do people trust each other? Are they fulfilling their potential? Will they enjoy returning to their colleagues when the pandemic is finally over?
While it is obviously hard to quantify answers to these questions, I firmly believe that it's better to try than do nothing. At Hoist Finance we started using the survey methodology from the company Great Place to Work in 2016 to measure the development of corporate culture and working environment over time and to help us support and prioritise our efforts.
An employee survey that measures "trust" is a key tool, providing information about employee perceptions and experiences of the company. The survey also measures how far Hoist Finance has come in implementing company values.
The result for 2020 was an index of 77 per cent, an impressive increase from 68 per cent in 2019.
There was also a 12 per cent increase in number of employees saying that Hoist Finance is a great place to work. In most countries where we are present we have now received Great Place to Work certification , including in all our biggest markets UK, Italy, Poland, France and Germany. This gives Hoist Finance a high rank in comparison with companies of similar size in each market.
I'm particularly impressed that we were able to boost our score during a year characterised by lockdowns and restrictions. Ironically, the pandemic may have accelerated some positive trends, in particular flexibility and technical infrastructure enabling people to work effectively from home.
However, we still see room for improvement and we will work hard to make Hoist Finance an even greater place to work.
And, yes, we will measure – to make sure it’s done.